Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Data Mine

Yesterday, I was listening to Bruce Schneier’s talk at DefCon 15. As always, fantastic. While some of it was familiar, one new bit I picked up from him is the legal ramifications of not owning the data we create. We don’t know when it’s being used for secondary purposes.

“And the 4th Amendment doesn’t work to protect our privacy (secure our person and papers) when our papers are not in our desks, they’re in our SMS messages, ISPs and Google, etc.” – Bruce Schneier

Ouch. I’m not sure lack of Constitutional protection is mentioned in ‘I agree to the terms and conditions’. Puts a whole different price tag on ‘free’ services.

It also helps me better grok the Vendor Relationship Managment project Doc Searls is heading. If individuals control their data – the chances of massive data breaches1 seem less likely, as do the Facebooks. Plus, individuals start to have some idea of the market value of their information. Hint – it’s greater than zero.


“How much of my data are you letting me control today? That’s pretty much all that matters to anyone, imho. – Dave Winer”

“I don’t deal with applications, I deal with data” – John Gruber, Daring Fireball

“Braininess is open data standards and protocols, not free APIs that trap data and developers in the holding pens of big companies. Sorry, did that in the 1990s.” – David Young, Joyent

P.S. For those of you playing along at home: BINGO!

1. Techdirt does a great job of tracking this issue.

Wednesday, 16 August 2006

Sunday, 13 August 2006

Sunday Morning Dot Connection

“Airport security is the last line of defense, and not a very good one at that. Sure, it’ll catch the sloppy and the stupid — and that’s a good enough reason not to do away with it entirely — but it won’t catch a well-planned plot. We can’t keep weapons out of prisons 1; we can’t possibly keep them off airplanes.” – Bruce Schneier

Interesting note on my media readership. I had already paged through the Sunday Star Tribune, read all the usual stuff, got frustrated with the huge amount of FUD and general insipidness, when I loaded up my NetNewWire for the morning. Right there in my ‘must reads’ list is the above article. If you follow the link, you’ll notice it was also published in the Op-Ed section of the paper I just put down.

1. Dangerous Beauty: The Art of the Shiv. My vote for most, um, innovative is the sharpened tablespoon.

Thursday, 10 August 2006

No Passengers Equals No Threats?

A terrorist threat is thwarted in London.

The reaction here and there – making flying more uncomfortable for everyone else, heighten the ‘threat alert’ to ‘red’ (because something might happen we’re not aware of? – hmmm. I felt more secure).

Seems that with the plot foiled, we should be _safer_ in the immediate short term – not less so.

Bruce Schneier on the new no carry-on rules (as always, read the comments).

Doc Searls from the front of the line…er front lines. Good luck Doc.

As always, insightfulness and thoughtfulness on risk comes from our comedians – Ze Frank on Red810.

Thomas P.M. Barnett on the terrorists’ success being the disruption they caused.

Great stuff from Rex Hammock:

“I’ve discovered I have less tolerance for someone else — especially a producer at a cable new channel — determining the priorities and sources of my information on such a story.” and “The stock market stood rock solid and even airline stocks were up.”

Wednesday, 8 March 2006

Patriot Act Misuse – Ignorance or Opportunism

Thanks to Bruce Schneier for pointing me to Mark Steyn’s excellent ‘Long war’ is Breaking Down into Tedium column in the Sun Times.

Steyn lists out some actually happened examples of companies and financial institutions invoking the Patriot Act without reason. Given the complexities of most legislation and the Asking Questions = Unpatriotic attitude of the current administration, I can see how this could happen.

Fortunately, Steyn provides ammunition if you suspect overly-zealous corporations are misusing the security bill:

“…we have a policy of reporting all erroneous invocations of the Patriot Act to the Department of Homeland Security on the grounds that such invocations weaken the rationale for the act, and thereby undermine public support for genuine anti-terrorism measures and thus constitute a threat to America’s national security.”